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Repairing the Safety Net

February 7, 2012

Mitt Romney said last week that if the safety net “needs a repair, I’ll fix it.”  It does need some repair, as our recent blog series explained.  That is, the safety net works but still...

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

February 1, 2012

As you may have heard, Mitt Romney said this morning, “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it.” We’re glad the governor is expressing support for a safety net and for fixing it if it needs repair.  Yet his own...

Romney’s Wrong: Federal Low-Income Program Dollars Go Overwhelmingly to Beneficiaries

January 12, 2012

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed a proposal to eliminate major federal assistance programs for low-income Americans and turn them over to the states, often with deep funding cuts.  But the rationale he offered for doing so in this past Sunday’s “Meet the Press” debate — that the federal bureaucracy eats up most of the money Congress provides for these programs, and little...

An Appalling Idea, Even by Washington Standards

January 6, 2012

For legislation to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, House Republicans are expected to push for a provision on unemployment insurance (UI) that is appalling even by current Washington standards.  Neither President Obama nor Congress should accept any payroll-tax legislation that includes it.  Here’s why:...

50/50 Split on Defense/Non-Defense Cuts the Result of GOP’s No-Tax Position

November 22, 2011

With some policymakers pushing to forestall the defense cuts that are slated to make up half of the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to start in January 2013, it’s important to remember why Congress and President Obama agreed in the...

Orszag Is Right: Locking in Bush Tax Cuts Not Worth a $1.2 Trillion Supercommittee Deal

November 21, 2011

Former Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, now vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup, hit the nail on the head when he told Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein recently that “There is virtually nothing the supercommittee could plausibly do that could offset the...

The False “Family Analogy” Argument for a Balanced Budget Amendment

November 16, 2011

Families must balance their budget every year, proponents of a constitutional balanced budget amendment often argue, so why shouldn’t the federal government? This argument has several serious flaws, the most basic being that families often do not balance their budgets, for good reason.

Supercommittee Won’t Get Anywhere Near $600 Billion in Medicare Savings Without Harming Lower-Income Beneficiaries

November 8, 2011

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget issued a blog post November 4 contending that, contrary to a CBPP post last week, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction can get $600 billion in Medicare savings without harming low-income beneficiaries. CRFB listed seven proposals that it said would save $607 billion without adversely affecting those with low incomes.

But these proposals would not get the job done.

Bowles “Compromise” Proposal to the Right of Boehner Offer to Obama in July

November 2, 2011

At yesterday’s Joint Committee hearing, Erskine Bowles offered what he called a “split-the-difference” compromise between last week’s offer from Senator Max Baucus (and some other Democrats) and the subsequent Republican offer. But because the Baucus offer represented substantial concessions by the Democrats offering it, while the Republican offer represented little or no movement by Republicans, the Bowles “compromise” turns out to be a proposal that’s skewed well to the right. Indeed, it’s to the right of the proposal offered by House Speaker John Boehner in July when he and President Obama were negotiating.

Reducing Deficits While Strengthening the Safety Net

October 3, 2011

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission, make an important point in their new Washington Post op-ed: